Day 22

“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” – Romans 12:13

I found this a difficult post to write, mostly because I knew what I wanted to say, but I also knew that it would be pretty clear that I fall short of my expectations for myself. Maybe it’s another example of a first-born not letting himself off the hook for not living up to expectations. So I’ll try to find a little compassion for myself and write it in a way that I’m not too self-critical.

My wife, son and I just got back from a book sale where we were volunteering to help raise money for a local high school. As parents we try very hard to model a life of service for our son, and I’d say we do a pretty good job. We spend a lot of time organizing the giving in our lives. We give money to our church; we volunteer both there and at all sorts of nonprofits. Sharing time, talent, and treasure with people can be pretty easy and very rewarding. But hospitality to me is something different. Hospitality means opening up my home, or my heart, or myself to another person. On some level it requires vulnerability, but vulnerability is only part of the equation. I can grow in vulnerability by writing these posts and opening myself up to the world in a way, but it is still controlled, it is still edited by me and put out into the world through the filter of my own mind. Hospitality means letting someone into that vulnerability and giving them the opportunity to see for themselves. To walk around in our lives and lift up the dust ruffles of our couches to see what’s really underneath. That’s true vulnerability, and true hospitality, when you not only let people see inside, but you give up the control of where they are allowed to look.

So, I’m ready to be vulnerable, but am I ready to “Practice hospitality?” Time will tell.

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